All reputable dealers will provide a manual with every vehicle purchased or leased. The vehicle owner should review the information contained in the manual and store it in a safe location where it is readily available at a moment’s notice. The manual provides valuable information about vehicle care that helps owners provide proper maintenance over the life of the vehicle.
Choosing the right schedule depends on the average mileage driven over a given time and normal wear and tear on the truck. Trucks used to haul heavy loads regularly will require frequent service because the components are under more stress than those used to carry small loads around town. Owners should review the various schedules suggested by the manufacturer and choose the one that best matches their driving habits.
Some procedures are simple enough for any owner to do without professional assistance or a trip to the local garage. Manufacturers recommend checking the engine oil levels and tire pressure frequently. Diagrams in the manual and detailed instructions can guide anyone through these easy tasks. Truck owners should invest in a good air pressure gauge to keep in the vehicle and make a habit of checking the pressure when filling the tank with gas.
Proper tire pressure is crucial for tire performance and great for saving fuel. Maintaining the recommended pressure ensures the tire performs as designed and prevents excessive heat buildup inside the tire. Underinflated tires cannot maintain the proper shape at speed and will wear much faster than they should. Since the tire bends more when it rolls, resistance increases and the vehicle uses more fuel to compensate.
An overinflated tire does not bend enough at speed and is more vulnerable to road hazard damage from debris or potholes in the road’s surface. Passengers will notice a bumpier ride but drivers experience increased cornering stability and improved steering response. This is why some road racers overinflate tires during competition.
Owners can inspect windshield wipers, headlamps, taillights and coolant levels. Changing the wiper blades once per year before the rainy season ensures that drivers have good visibility even in bad weather. Icy conditions will cause wiper blades to wear faster. Individuals living in regions with harsh winters may need to replace blades more often. Coolant levels require more attention during the summer months when the engine tends to run hotter.
All vehicles require oil changes on a regular basis. The number of miles driven will determine the frequency required for this service but a common recommendation is every 3,000 miles. Manufacturers typically recommend an oil change every three months regardless of the mileage driven during that time. Some individuals have experience doing this job at home and will save money if they do so successfully. Others prefer to take the vehicle to a professional for this service.